Sustainability Minor at Simpson College

The Sustainability Studies Minor provides you the opportunity to learn more about humans’ connections to our planet and engage in meaningful experiences related to the economic, social, and ecological concept of sustainability (meeting the needs of current generations without hindering future generations from meeting theirs). This is an interdisciplinary minor offered through the Department of Biology and Environmental Science in conjunction with the departments of Business Administration and Economics, Chemistry and Physics, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology and Criminal Justice.


  • You will demonstrate breadth of knowledge about sustainability with your successful completion of an independent research project, internship, or service project tying the environment with your discipline of interest.

Course Requirements:

You will complete 5 courses plus an approved independent research project, campus- or community-based service project, or internship related to the concept of sustainability or the environment. Be sure to check with Sustainability Director ( about availability of courses, project ideas, or anything related to Sustainability.

1.       Complete one required course: 
  • BIOL 103 – Environmental Issues


2.       Complete four courses total from the following, with at least one from each disciplinary category:

  • BIOL 145 – Introductory Plant Biology
  • BIOL 253 – Principles of Ecology (Pre-requisite: Biol 110)
  • CHEM 155 – Environmental Chemistry
  • NASC 102 – Introduction to Meteorology
  • ENG 238 or 290 – Environmental Literature
  • HIST 261 – American Environmental History
  • PHIL 245 – The Ethics of Globalization
  • PHIL 250 – Applied Ethics (course focus must relate to the environment)
  • PHIL 255 – The Ethics of Development and Consumption
  • REL 201 – Readings in the Tanakh (spring 2013 only)
  • SOC 204 – Modern Social Problems
  • SOC 350 – Environmental Sociology
  • SOC 360 – Social Movements (Pre-requisite: 1 course in Sociology)
  • BIOL 240 – Conservation Law
  • ECON 210 – Environmental Economics (Pre-requisite: ECON 100, 101, or 102)
  • ECON 230 – Economic Growth & Development (Pre-requisite: ECON 100, 101, or 102)
  • MAGT 365 – Organizational Ethics and Social Responsibility (Pre-requisite: any ethics class from the Philosophy or Religion departments)
  • POSC 340 – Politics of a Changing World
  • POSC 370 – Environmental Politics (Pre-requisite: POSC 101 or instructor permission)
3.       Complete an approved supervised independent research project, campus- or community-based service project, or internship related to sustainability or the environment [must be equivalent of one course (4 credits) from department of faculty research advisor for the project].  Approval of the project or internship would come from the Sustainability Studies Advisory Committee. A project or internship advisor may be chosen by the student from faculty on the Sustainability Studies Advisory Committee or from faculty in the student’s declared major.
  • Regular semester 290/390 Special Topics courses, May Term, and Study Abroad courses with a focus on environmental topics may be used to fulfill a requirement within a disciplinary category, pending approval by the Sustainability Studies Advisory Committee prior to taking the course.  No more than 2 of the 5 required courses may be substituted by May Term or Study Abroad courses.
  • Environmental Science majors or minors may not minor in Sustainability Studies.